Gaya: Asking 'mahadalits' or the most backward among the Scheduled Castes (SC) to unite, Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi on Monday said it will make them powerful and gain political power.
"People have hated you, but it's time to mark your presence now. Our population in the state was 20 lakh in 1933. It is at least 60 lakh now. We count for 50 per cent population of the SC here. We have been kept apart due to conspiracy. If we unite, we will get power. The same happens in politics also," said Manjhi, who himself comes from one of the 'mahadalit' castes.
Manjhi asked them to get their names registered in the voter's list actively and show that they were not inferior to anyone in comparison.
The Chief Minister was speaking at the Sixth Rikhiyasan Meeting organised by people from mahadalit communities, held at the temple town of Bodh Gaya.
He also asked them to adopt one caste name. At present there are 19 castes counted as mahadalits under the SC category.
"We belong to the families of the 'Rishis' (saints), but we are called by different names. People divided us, kept us enslaved or used us as labourers. Call a 'panchayat' and decide one caste name for all mahadalits," added Manjhi.
The Chief Minister asked the people not to drink and be aware about their children's education. He also recounted government welfare schemes that could benefit them and asked them to be caution of the traditionalists in politics.
Manjhi also visited district court to attend a felicitation programme organised by the bar association there and said Bihar government will seek a bench of Patna High Court at Gaya. It will be done after completing the prescribed process, he added.
He inspected the court premises and announced that the state government will immediately provide Rs 50 lakh to construct a building for advocates. The administrative buildings present there will also be repaired. He also said the government will try to set-up a vigilance court at Gaya.